Wellington - Former heavyweight boxing champion Joseph
Parker's latest fight has him embroiled in a row involving sexism and racism
with a New Zealand school.
A high school in the North Island city of Whanganui had
marketed an upcoming visit by Parker as a "closed motivational
session" for boys of indigenous Maori or Pacific island descent and their
But the 26-year-old New Zealand boxer said on Tuesday that
if the session was not made all inclusive, he would not be there.
The school claimed it was the Parker camp that requested a
restricted audience with board member Piri Cribb saying it was an opportunity
to work with a section of students who were less engaged.
"It's not a separatist movement and it's not an elite
strategy," she said.
"It is simply an opportunity to capitalise on the
cultural similarities that this man has with our young men."
But Parker insisted he wanted all pupils to have the chance
to hear him and was disappointed in how the event had been planned.
"I'm even more disappointed the school would claim that
they had done this at my request - when that is clearly untrue," he said.
"If we go down to see the kids we'd like to see
everyone," Parker added in Auckland at his first media conference since
losing to Dillian Whyte in London 10 days ago.
Parker's promoter David Higgins said the boxer was unlikely
to attend if changes were not made.
"I think it's unfair to exclude say females or other
races as Joseph might only visit that region once in five or 10 years,"
"For that reason I think it should probably be
inclusive, and we probably wouldn't support that particular visit if it's not
inclusive and if changes aren't made."
Parker won the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight crown
in December 2016 and defended it twice before losing on points to England's
Anthony Joshua in March this year.
He subsequently lost to Whyte on points but has said he will
continue to fight for another five years.